Ready for today's flea market!
When I posted this on Facebook two weeks ago on Saturday, a friend remarked: again? Well yes, but this time we were browsing, not selling!
With the temperature into the high twenties, it was, in all fairness, a bit too hot to browse, but we were not to be deterred: not counting the one outside our front door, it had been far too long since our last flea market!
Dressed in a vintage maxi skirt in citrus colours, topped by a green embroidered peasant-style blouse - a sales bargain from New Look - with short, scalloped trumpet sleeves protecting my shoulders from the sun and, of course, my arms, neck and face slathered in sun screen, I was definitely ready for a good old browse, regardless of the weather.
The comfy sandals are Clarks - bought in the sales while on holiday - and doesn't that colourful raffia bag remind you of those 1970s raffia trivets?
The multicoloured wooden triangle bracelet was one of my first buys, and adding it to the others I was already wearing seemed the obvious thing to do. Incidentally, the ivory coloured elephant bangle was found at the same flea market last year, while the green bracelet was brought back from Shropshire.
We'd hardly made a start when who did we run into but Jos's daughter! I think she loves flea markets even more than we do!
It wasn't a huge market, but with just the right amount of stalls not to be overwhelming, and enough variation to keep our interest piqued.
By the time we'd found a spot under some trees, well away from the crowds, to eat our picnic, our finds included a necklace, a short-sleeved top and ... space man! This demented looking little robot, its original box a tiny bit faded, still manages a couple of jerky steps when its rusty key is turned.
At a stall selling all manner of vintage picture postcards, I bought a few of these 1970s cuties. I would have loved to browse this stall some more, but as it was in full sun, without any protective awning, it was far too hot to stand still for longer than a couple of minutes.
After lunch, in the final row of stalls, I found two more necklaces, both of which have been worn already, as well as a vintage frock, which only cost € 2 but needed its buttons replaced. Nothing me and my stash of vintage buttons could not handle!
I'd bought Maggie O'Farrell's Instructions for a Heatwave, which is set in the summer of 1976, on a rainy day in Wales last year. She is one of my favourite authors, and I've been keeping this novel in my reading pile ever since, waiting for the right moment.
Well, what better moment can there be but now, being faced with a heatwave of similar proportions, 42 years later?
"The heat, the heat. It inhabits the house like a guest who has outstayed its welcome: it lies along corridors, it circles around curtains, it lolls heavily on sofas and chairs."
What a delicious and apt description. It could have been written with Dove Cottage in mind!
The blinds here are permanently drawn, only letting in a minimum amount of light through its dotted chinks, and the curtains in our bedroom remain closed until the evening brings some relative coolness. We are actually living in semi-darkness!
Standing in front of my wardrobe, I am faced with a problem: a serious lack of cotton frocks! It's not that I don't have any, but the choice is pretty limited. After all, there has been many a Summer when they do not even make a single appearance!
The rail of colourful Diolen frocks is looking at me reproachfully, but obviously they are out of bounds in this kind of weather.
Handmade from a sturdy cotton, the floral frock I bought at The Looking Glass in Bridgnorth seemed the perfect choice. I added a shell necklace - also bought while on holiday - and a brooch featuring seashells and flowers. Unfortunately, I wasn't very comfortable wearing this: it was surprisingly clingy, and I kept having to adjust the bodice to keep my bra straps from showing, a common occurrence when I'm wearing shift dresses . I'll give it another try when it's less warm, so the jury is still out.
Several 1970s floral cotton midi length skirts are gracing my wardrobe, but he problem is what to wear with them in these unusually sweltering temperatures. I hardly have a shortage of blouses and tops, but even those which were the epitome of coolness during past Summers are now sticking to my back by early afternoon.
As luck would have it, the last days of the sales yielded a couple of floaty, butterfly sleeved tops of the wash-and-wear-again variety. This sage green one is from H&M and I love the lacy details at the yoke. The purple necklace was slightly too long, which was easily remedied by knotting it.
But even though I loved wearing this outfit, and it was absolutely fine for a day at my air-conditioned office and a quick dash outside to have coffee with a friend, it wasn't up to my commute home on a tram which should have been put on the scrap heap years ago. At regular intervals, we were only doing 15 kilometers an hour, as the vehicle kept getting overheated. Hot and sweaty, I changed into the play suit I'd bought at Think Twice back in June when I eventually got home.
My next outfit featured the New Look peasant blouse again. This time, I wore it with another one of my cotton 1970s skirts, which has pink, orange, yellow and green florals on a black background.
I added a variety of accessories: a wide black and white woven belt, one of the necklaces from the flea market, orange and floral bangles and an orange plastic flower ring. Oh, and doesn't the vintage Bohemian brooch looks perfect with the blouse?
The skirt came out again the next day, with a different top. When I laid eyes on it on a charity shop rail, I was immediately drawn to its funky print, so even though I wasn't too sure about the elasticated puff sleeves, which usually pinch like hell, it just had to come home with me.
I needn't have worried, as the sleeves were absolutely fine all day. I did have to remove the label, which was uncomfortably scratchy.
The orchid brooch, which doubles as a necklace, was bought at a flea market back in May, while both the ring and the necklace were charity shopped.
The half-elasticated orange belt is one of my favourites and has consequently made quite a few appearances on the blog. I have it in navy as well, and both are starting to show some wear and tear. It'll be a sad day when they finally give up the ghost.
There, I'm sure you've had enough of my hot weather outfits for now. I'm sure I have!
I'm linking the groovy top to Patti's Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style.